The professional bodies joint submission supports the proposal, set out in NZAuASB ED 2020-2 to issue ISRS(NZ) 4400 Agreed-Upon Procedures Engagements. The proposals aligning this new standard with the recently revised international equivalent ISRS 4400 (Revised) Agreed Upon Procedures Engagements. Both will be operative for engagements where terms are agreed on or after 1 January 2022.
The final NZAuASB standard will replace APS-1(revised) Agreed-Upon Procedures Engagements to report factual findings, a response to the expansion of the NZAuASB’s standard setting mandate in 2019 to cover related services engagements. The New Zealand Regulatory Board of NZICA, which issued APS-1(revised) in 2018 will then withdraw its standard.
The proposed New Zealand standard, like its international counterpart, no longer requires mandatory independence requirements or report restrictions. However, it does permit users and practitioners to apply more onerous requirements if these are appropriate to the circumstances of the engagement. CA ANZ and CPA Australia concurs with the NZAuASB’s views, set out in ED 2020-2, that mandatory regulation for these matters in New Zealand is not required. This approach reflects both the need to cost effectively facilitate the use of these engagements and promote international harmonisation.
However, the submission encourages the NZAuASB to supplement the guidance provided by the IAASB on the new standard with examples of suitable wording for both independence requirements and report restrictions in the interests of promoting consistency and quality for those New Zealand practitioners involved in engagements where these options are used.